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Date: June 16th 1918
Malcolm (Max)

June 16 Sunday

My Dear Mother, -

I’m afraid I’ll miss my siesta if I make this epistle too long and that would be a calamity for I rolled in at 4 A.M. and out again at 5:30 today so I didn’t get much sleep. Yesterday Nervo Needham (73rd Sigs) – so named on account of his superb gaul in wangling for his own and his comrades’ benefit, and I went by road to Eastbourne, about 8 miles, starting at 2 P.M.

The road lay over the hills to the East, across “cuckmere haven”, a roman landing ground and then up another hill of rather steep grade for about two miles after which one feels like resting beside the romantic looking old windmill on the hilltop.

Another dip brings one into East Dean – a spot of very few inhabitants and a church. Here we stopped about 3:35 P.M. and, after a bit of wangling on Nervo’s part, had tea before attempting the next hill which appeared to be and was fully 3 miles long.

Five o’clock saw us nicely into the town. But I must say first that from the ridge outside, the town appears far prettier than any other that I have seen in England – and it is a large town too.

Built in crescent shape around a bay it sports a splendid promenade and pebbly beach backed by a long line of fine looking hotels and private residences.

The streets, although not boasting of any great width are very clean and nearly all have a row of trees along each walk.

We had a wash up and hied ourselves to a chop shop for supper. The rationing of ham and bacon has been stopped so, for the first time in month we were able to get bacon and eggs – and good use we made of the opportunity too.

Six Thirty is the usual time for the beauty parade on the Grand Parade so, missing little, we took that in for a couple of hours and listened to the band at the same time.

Then for a bum show at the Hippodrome and at 11 P.M. we stood there thinking of all the gravel crushing we had to do before turning in to our dusty old blankets.

Taking what we thought to be the right road for Seaford, we hit a good clip – about four miles per and soon had the satisfaction of feeling that the worst of our troubles were over when the top of the first hill was reached.

But, although we thought we were going right, we had taken the road to N.W. instead of West and were hitting toward London. After 2 ½ hours walking we began to doubt as to which was the proper direction and accordingly tried in vain to find ourselves. We succeeded and learned that we were about 3 miles out of Eastbourne and almost as far from Seaford as at the start! Thereafter we knew the road and, although we had done upwards of 20 miles already in the days work and had reason to be sore mentally and bodily, we did quite a lot of laughing: for Nervo is pretty good company and we had some good jokes over old times.

So at 3:50 A.M. or thereabouts we hauled into the guard room to report, just that hungry that at 60 past 7 we could have 8 o’clock.

No mail has come from any direction so there is nothing to report. Here’s hoping for a bushel of mail in the near future.

Now for a note to Ewan.

Fondest love to all
Your loving son


B Coy 1st C.E.R. []
Seaford Sussex

P.S. Indirect word from Ewan reported him OK up to June 4th. Mac

Original Scans

Original Scans